Gareth Hardwick and Chris Summerlin
Gareth Hardwick has decided to swap his usual instrument of choice, the guitar, for an electric chord organ. Accompanied by Chris Summerlin of Kogumaza on guitar, he sits crouched over the keys of his organ playing long drawn out chords that gently drift around in a loop. Out of this relative nothingness the two musicians create something hypnotic and beautiful, keeping it simple with Chris’s brittle guitar adding texture to Gareth’s harmonious drone.
Nick Jonah Davis
Next up is folk musician Nick Jonah Davis. His ability to conjure up images and tell stories with just his elegant guitar playing is nothing less than mesmerising. You feel your jaw dropping as his fingers weave the notes plucked from his guitar strings into beautiful little vignettes. Who needs words when you have guitar playing this warm and honest?
Occupying a similar folky world to Nick Jonah Davis is The Horse Loom from Northumberland. The last time he was in Nottingham he was playing in a reformed Unit Ama at the Gringo Records 15th Birthday bash, but tonight Steve Malley is back as the Horse Loom playing in support of his eponymously titled solo LP. It’s a stunning performance, with Steve’s velvet vocals and bewitching guitar playing conjuring up earthy tones. His songs feel rugged, whilst managing to retain a delicate heart at their centre.
The Horse Loom
Kogumaza may seem like an odd choice nestled alongside the three previous acts who are all quiet and introspective. But, the thing that has linked tonight’s performers so far, aside from friendship and a genuine respect from one another, is their ability to transport the listener and summon up particular emotions through their guitar playing alone. Therefore the heavy drone monolith that is Kogumaza fits perfectly.
Playing what is going to be their last gig for a while, they treat The Chameleon to a host of new stuff. What’s telling about this latest batch of songs, is that whilst the heavy droning guitars that snake around with demonic intent are still very much intact, the band seem to have a discovered a new dub element to their music.
The drums echo and reverberate around the inside of the room with crystal clarity; all the while, Chris and Neil’s guitars attack with a bassy thud that threatens to break your chest in two if you dare step any closer towards the stage. It wubs and wobbles, and it’s telling that Chris is plugged in to a guitar amp AND bass amp. If they decide to continue in this direction it’ll be interesting to see where the journey takes them.
Kogumaza, The Horse Loom, Nick Jonah Davis and Gareth Hardwick played at The Chameleon on Friday 28 September 2012.